As a child who moved frequently, Jessica Shelley found comfort and stability at school.
“It became my refuge, a place where I knew the expectations and could thrive,” the Gulfport resident recalls. “The constant encouragement my teachers gave is ultimately what inspired me to pursue a career in education so I could have the opportunity to be that light for other children, too.”
When she became a public-school teacher, Shelley saw a communication deficit between schools and families. This realization inspired her to found Dailies, an innovative educational platform that earned her a place on Forbes’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list.
This recognition, she says, left her “in complete shock”
“I feel profoundly honored and humbled to be recognized among other education innovators who are significantly impacting the field,” Shelley adds. “I know that we are making a difference for families, children and teachers through Dailies, but the magnitude was something I hadn’t really slowed down to consider.”
BRIDGING THE GAP
With so many students to attend to, Shelley says teachers often struggle to give each family personalized attention. She found that students on customized education or behavior plans typically took priority, while those who are on track rarely had updates sent home.
That left her wondering: What would happen if these students received the same level of support? That’s where Dailies comes in, providing a user-friendly way for parents to track their child’s educational journey.
“As a mother of five, I know it becomes all the more complex when multiple little ones are running through the house,” she says. “As we set off to create the platform, we had to have a solution that wasn’t only comprehensive, but also something that was easy to use for busy families.”
Comparing Dailies to a doctor’s visit, Shelley says the platform can give families quick insight into their child’s academic health. If something’s not right, they can intervene immediately.
“A parent wouldn’t wait three months if their child had a fever; they would seek help after a few days if there was no improvement,” Shelley says. “We help provide this type of diagnostic information to families so they can actively prompt for help instead of passively waiting for updates.”
The platform also features a fun micro-learning app that adapts to each child’s pace and progress. Dailies complements the app with live classes taught by qualified teachers. After every live session, parents get detailed reports that set objectives, highlight their child’s strengths and offer practice strategies.
“Our platform is fully inclusive, welcoming children with a range of learning needs,” Shelley says. “We’re proud to have specially trained educators who hold master’s degrees and special education credentials to ensure that every child receives the support they require.”
Because Dailies is totally online, there are no geographic limits. The platform has a valuation of $5 million, according to Forbes, and has served over 15,000 families in its first two years.
‘THE POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH IS VAST’
Forbes begins the process of choosing its 30 Under 30 honorees by soliciting nominations online. Typically, more than 20,000 nominations come in for its North America, Europe and Asia lists, and Forbes writers and editors comb through each submission to find candidates.
Forbes staff and a panel of independent, expert judges then evaluate these candidates, considering factors like funding, revenue, investors, social impact, scale, stage, inventiveness and potential. Of Dailies, Shelley says, “The potential for growth is vast.”
“We have the capability to tailor our services to align with each state’s and country’s specific curriculum, allowing us to teach in any region,” she adds. “This scalability is key to our mission of providing parents worldwide with insights into their children’s educational progress.”
Shelley says her main goal for Dailies is to expand access to more families and educators. Achieving this level of success so soon has surprised and humbled the former teacher, who always has been driven to make a difference.
“I never anticipated that I could be part of a team working to create change with such a broad scope of influence,” Shelley says. “This achievement is beyond what I had ever imagined.”